Is it good to be visible on Google Search and are there ways to not show results with your name?

Erlis D October 17, 2013
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Hello everyone,

Just type your name on Google Search and it you will get an “amazing” list of sites where you are active. Your Facebook profile, Twitter one, LinkedIn and so on… I find this feature very interesting and I think it deserves a real discussion (maybe there is already one that I don’t know about). The question could have been different or similar, but I’m very curious for the answers!

If you have been active in pages like MUO or pages where you comment with your real name, then I don’t think privacy is something to discuss in this case. My questions are many… Is it safe? Can it be thought as something bad? Can it be removed completely or partially? And many more… I’ve read some articles about how to Ungoogle Yourself, like “How to Ungoogle Yourself” article from wikihow, and the “Un-Google Yourself” article from Wired; very useful tips, but still not complete! I’d like to hear your opinion and suggestion for this topic.
Thanks in advance!

 

 

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  1. Susendeep D
    October 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    It's good to make your good work public especially if your name appears in Google search results which redirects the users to those answers hat you have answered.this will put a good impression on anybody trying to know about your background.

    Regarding privacy,you at first place must avoid sharing things which you can feel uncomfortable with others.

    It's not possible to delete your whole history fully.Moreover,with some agencies tracking users movements,you must be very cautious now with your activities.

    If you don't do anything wrong and remain careful with your privacy,then you can do your work freely and don't have to worry about your history being tracked by anyone.

  2. jkbond17
    October 22, 2013 at 3:06 am

    I try not to share anything more about myself than I would share with someone waiting in the same check-out line at the grocery store.

  3. Oron J
    October 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I'm not an expert on the subject, but here are my thoughts. Information about you can be useful to you and others, but it can be also be harmful a number of ways:
    - It allows people to "collect intelligence" about you (i.e. to spy on you) and find out information that you may not want them to have (e.g. your employer can find out about your personal life).
    - It can also be used to help a malicious person impersonate you (a.k.a ID theft). This can also be useful for hackers, who may not be after your ID as such, but will use what they learn to penetrate an organisation you're associated with ("Social Engineering").
    - It can give out a misleading picture of you (only a part of your life is recorded in Google, after all; you may have the same or a similar name to someone else, so the information may not actually relate to you, and the information can be way out of date (something you did 10 or even 20 years ago).

    Regarding the advantages, I think they're fairly obvious. It allows you to publicise yourself, and if you want, to make it easy for others to contact you. On the searchers' side (assuming they're not you!), it allows them to find out about who you are, what you're up to etc.

    The question is not whether it's good or bad, but where to draw the line, and what YOU can do about it. Once the information is "out there", there's really no way to push the genie back into the bottle, even if you "ungoogle yourself". Therefore, the most important thing is not to post online material that you *may* later want to take down, as you probably won't be able to do that with 100% effectiveness. If you have posted any "incriminating" information online (say, on a social network), you can remove it and hope for the best, and you could even close the account, but there's no guarantee that this will be the end of the story.

    You probably should avoid posting anything that will cause serious embarrassment/loss of job in the future, and importantly, you should not avoid posting anything publicly that will be useful for hackers and ID thieves (e.g. mother's maiden name). All that said, there are many things that are out of your control. Here are a few examples:
    - Photos of yourself taken by others (e.g. friends, family) and posted on the net with or without your name (facial recognition software is very effective, and it's only a matter of time before finding someone's photos will be as easy as googling their name).
    - Similarly, your name is mentioned by others in a "conversation" on the net. If your name is Jack Smith, you're probably safe, but if it's an unusual name, it would not take a lot of research to link it to you.
    - State records, employer's records or website(s), directories of enquiries, genealogical society records etc. These are all official and, generally, reliable sources of information, and it's not too difficult to link several of them to each other. I've been doing some genealogical research myself recently, and was shocked at what I could find out about people, even if they are not related to me and are alive! In some countries, information such as your name, address, employment (or at least, profession) and income are publicly available so certain aspects of your privacy are compromised from the start.

    To summarise, total privacy no longer exists, and this can be a problem for some people. How to deal with it is partly a matter of attitude ("I don't care what other people know about me" vs "I'm not having this!"), but everyone should take some steps to make sure their lives don't get too compromised by what others can find out about them.

    • Erlis D
      October 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Thanks a lot for your comment! I believe I learned a lot. I think the best option would be to make "everything" private that is from your private life (like only share it with your friends). And everything related to your job or skills you have, share it (in case of publicity). Of course everyone would have to think for it's own self, since it's more personalized I believe...